• E-mail me!
  • In which I proposition a dinner hostess

    Back in March, Mister and I created a fantastic chili recipe which won 2nd place in a contest. First prize was a gift card to an electronics chain store for $100. Pretty nifty. We won a one-night stay plus dinner for two at a local ultra-posh hotel. We guestimated the value of that to be over $200, if one used the 'government' rate instead of the 'civilian' room rate.

    And so we went.

    We checked in, dropped our bags in the room and checked everything out. I don't know about anyone else, but I've traveled a lot and first order of business is to lay down on the bed to determine how badly I'm going to sleep. Second is to check out the bathroom.

    Well, I can say with complete confidence that for room 407 of the [name redacted] Hotel, the bed is ultra-soft, the duvet is so soft you will never in your life experience a nicer blanket, and the bathroom is a dream: super-size whirlpool tub and a roomed-off loo. It is also a two-room suite with a little living room, and they gave us the most delicious, warm chocolate chip cookies as a treat for staying with them. Woot!

    We dressed for dinner. I really felt like making it special and so we went posh. I even wore nice sandals! I'm so glad we did, because it really was a fancy dinner, even if it was a buffet, only occasionally marred by the locals who came just for the dinner in their sweatpants and flip-flops. While waiting for our table, the dinner hostess, a pretty young woman, chatted with us. I mentioned it was our first time at the hotel, and she asked us how we liked it.

    Our conversation went something like this:

    H: ...Welcome to [name redacted]! How do you like it?
    S: Wow! The bed is so soft and the room is just great!
    H: That's what I had heard.
    S: You really should check it out. It's fantastic!
    H: ... Um, /hushed voice/ employees aren't really allowed...
    S: Oh. Maybe not tonight, but some other time. It's really nice.
    H: Perhaps you go to Hilton Head? We have another hotel there that's right on the beach.
    S: Oh, I love the beach! I really miss it. I've heard Hilton Head is lovely. /to Mister/ We should go this summer!
    M: I think you need to stop.
    S: ....?

    As we were sitting down to dinner and ordering our wine, Mister explained what he got from the conversation, but said that I showed good taste, considering she was very attractive. I, on the other hand, was mortified. I really had no idea.

    George Lucas is a whore

    George Lucas started a good thing with Star Wars, A New Hope back in 1977. Things went well with Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, in spite of the Ewoks, and is hereto known as TOS. There were a few hiccups with the Ewoks cartoon and an unfortunate "holiday special," but fans like me were willing to forgive and forget.

    And then, Lucas loses his ever-loving mind. He developed episodes 1-3, hiring some of the best (McGregor, Jackson, and Neeson) and some of the worst (Portman, Christenson) actors available. The plots of 1 and 2 were sketchy, although eventually 3 was intense and in line with episodes 4 through 6. In the meantime, he digitized TOS. Oh, and then he added extra footage to the digitized versions of TOS. By this time, we had 3 different versions of TOS, some on VHS, some on DVD.

    And then there was Clone Wars.

    First, Lucas created a little serial sketched out by the Samarai Jack team. Presented on Cartoon Network, this was a hard-to-follow series simply because it was run in three-minute segments sporadically throughout certain regular shows on the network. First, one had to enjoy the regular show enough to stay focused. And then one had to remember it was on in the first place. Oh, the joy when it was finally put out on DVD. The whole series, on one DVD. Yay!

    Next, Lucas decides that the orginial cartoon series, hereto known as TOCS, just wasn't enough. He created a CGI film, and the actors from episodes 1-3 voiced their animated counterparts. It caused something of a geek squee in anticipation, but did not entirely live up to its expectations.

    And then, Lucas decides that the film must also have a CGI cartoon series to fill in the CGI film, introducing new characters that were not part of the live-action film series, even in flashbacks, or even part of the TOCS. This new series, hereto called Teh Stoopids, was also hosted on Cartoon Network as a regular show, rather than the ill-advised three-minute serial. Shortly after the last episode of the first season finished airing, a commercial reminded us to buy Teh Stoopids on DVD the following Tuesday. As this coincided with the release of the next installment of Daniel Craig Walks Shirtless On The Beach, I decided to surprise Mister with the next addition to his Star Wars collection.

    I bought Daniel Craig. I did not buy Clone Wars.

    Why? Because instead of the entire series of Teh Stoopids on one DVD, only the first four episodes are available at this time. And so in order to get the entire series, we must shill out $14.00 per DVD for a total of six DVDs. Nearly $100, if you include tax and then round up, for one flaming cartoon series, and it's not even the end of the story.

    And so I say, George Lucas is a whore.

    Editor's note: Daniel Craig Walks Shirtless On The Beach part 2 did not in fact feature Daniel Craig walking shirtless on the beach, unfortunately. He did in the first of his James Bond films, and I was really hoping for a repeat. What a disappointment in that respect, although the writers, with much kindness, did find other ways for Craig fans to glimpse his well-tanned features, bless their hearts!

    To Thine Own Self, Be True

    Last week, I had a discussion with The Girl about her key ring. Collectively, it weighs about 3 pounds, and holds one key. I asked her to remove one "chain" from the ring because it looks, at first glance, like a weapon sometimes seen in martial arts movies. The last thing anyone needs is to get a school administrator's knickers in a pinch because of a toy that looks sort-of dangerous.

    This morning, after The Teens dashed off for the bus, I remembered her key ring had been sitting on the breakfast bar in the kitchen, along with her art portfolio. Hoping she remembered her key, I went to check.

    "Oh good! She remembered her key.... Gah! I forgot about that damn throwing star! I hope she took that off.... Oh for the love of... Will those kids ever clean up after themselves? [The Girl] left her Gwee dragon and her coffin candy case *right there.* I'll have to talk to her about that..."

    Yes, mine is a strange household. Someday I may tell you how The Boy spent this weekend piecing together old audio equipment using masking and packing tapes to make a headset for his XBox.

    that'll leave a mark

    I try to mind my own business. I just don't want other people's problems weighing me down. I've got my own baggage, thank you just the same.

    I also believe there is a time and a place for everything. Certain discussions just shouldn't be public. One example was the wedding proposal from a few weeks back.

    Yesterday, I was minding my own business in the grocery store, checking my list to make sure I'd bought everything I'd intended. A raised female voice floated toward me from behind, and my radar ears perked up. This is what I heard as this young twenty-something couple strolls by:

    "...blah blah even before we started dating, I thought you waddled..."
    Really? Wow! I'm sure glad you shared that with the world, miss. I'll bet he is, too!